Michelle Obama joins The Roots for digital music festival to encourage people to register to vote

The Roots are teaming with former first lady Michelle Obama to help encourage people to vote in the upcoming election.

Obama will co-host the 13th annual Roots Picnic, which will go live virtually this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic on June 27 on YouTube. The digital music festival-style show will be in partnership with Obama’s national nonpartisan, nonprofit When We All Vote organization, according to Billboard.

The outlet reports that the event will be hosted by Questlove, Black Thoughts and the former first lady herself and feature performances from not only The Roots, but also big acts like H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, SZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, D Nice and Musiq Soulchild. Also expected to join the digital party are celebrities Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe and Elaine Welteroth.


Michelle Obama is joining The Roots for a digital concert designed to register people to vote.

Michelle Obama is joining The Roots for a digital concert designed to register people to vote. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Meanwhile, Shawn Gee (Live Nation Urban), the Roots' Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tarik Trotter (Two One Five Entertainment) as well as Dan Parise (DPS) will executive produce the show.

Together, the stars will entertain while encouraging those who tune in to register to vote in the upcoming election. The outlet reports that When We All Vote is aiming to register 500,000 eligible voters through a texting process done throughout the event.


“As we face one of the most challenging years for our nation, we could all use a moment of inspiration and light to help focus on what we can do to take action together -- and that action is voting. When We All Vote is on a mission to change the culture around voting and we are committed to closing the age and race gap of those who show up at the ballot box, increasing participation in each and every election,” wrote When We All Vote managing director of communications and culture Stephanie L. Young in a statement. “To change the culture means we have to be in the culture, and iconic events like The Roots Picnic, a celebration of the most influential artists of today, is just that.”